How to Remove Algae From Drinking Water

Written by nicholas nesler | 13/05/2017
How to Remove Algae From Drinking Water
Bottled drinking water can often become contaminated with algae. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Many people these days prefer the taste of bottled water over tap water. Bottled water comes in hard plastic water bottles or large, 1-gallon or 5-gallon jugs which can be used over and over.

The only problem with bottled water is that the containers can become filled with algae, especially after multiple uses. Water with algae is visibly discoloured in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown or even red. It may also have a surface scum. Fortunately, bottles can be recycled, and there is also a simple solution to clean the algae from your drinking water.

Add 1 tsp of bleach to 1 cup of water. If you have a 1-gallon bottle of water or larger, double this recipe. If you do not have bleach, you can use hydrogen peroxide instead. Mix 3 tsp of hydrogen peroxide to 1 cup of water. Do not ever mix bleach and hydrogen peroxide together.

Pour the solution into your water container. If the container is a small water bottle, cover the bottle and shake it so the solution will swirl around and coat the whole interior. Fill the rest of the bottle up with hot water. Allow it to set for a few minutes, then completely rinse the bottle until the bleach smell is gone. Repeat this process until the algae is gone.

Pour the bleach solution into the 1-gallon or 5-gallon container and fill the remainder up with hot water. Let the solution soak for 30 minutes. If using a hydrogen peroxide solution, allow it to soak for an hour. Leave the bottle in a bathtub for easy rinsing. After soaking, rinse the bottle repeatedly with tap water until the algae and any bleach or hydrogen peroxide odours are gone.


Never mix bleach and hydrogen peroxide together. Never breathe in bleach fumes.

Tips and warnings

  • Never mix bleach and hydrogen peroxide together.
  • Never breathe in bleach fumes.

Things you need

  • Measuring spoons
  • Bleach
  • Measuring cup
  • Hydrogen peroxide

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